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know ho\A/ to 









know how to 

by Dana Miller 

Earl Schneider, editor 



The Pet Library Ltd, sub- 
sidiary of Sternco Indus- 
tries, Inc., 600 South 
Fourth Street, Harrison, 
N.J. Exclusive Canadian 
Distributor: Hartz Moun- 
tain Pet Supplies Limited, 
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Thomas, Ontario, Canada. 

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//////// * 10 
ISBN 0-87826-582-1 


1 Introduction 

2 History of clipping 

3 The first clipping 

4 Your tools 

5 Basic technique 

6 The bath 

7 Scissoring 

8 "Do's and Don'ts" 

9 Accessories 

1 O Styles of clipping 

page 3 
page 6 
page 8 
page 1 1 
page 15 
page 19 
page 21 
page 26 
page 27 
page 31 


It is a matter of record that the Poodle is by far the most 
popular of all breeds of dogs recognized by the American 
Kennel Club. The Poodle has been number one in the AKC 
roll for a longer period of time than any other dog, and it 
seems very unlikely that this popularity is ever going to 
diminish. Although many dogs have attained great heights of 
popularity in the past, the Poodle reigns, and will reign, king 
of them all. 

Poodles are very powerfully built dogs with quick 
intelligence, friendly dispositions, and unusually heavy 
coats. They come in a variety of colors: black, white, brown, 
grey, apricot, blue, and two-toned. Gray seems to be the 
best favored color, since the black and brown coats have a 
tendency to fade. White Poodles are truly stunning, provided 
the pigment of the eye is black and no red stains are visible 
under the eye. Quite naturally, a white dog requires much 
more cleaning care than another color. Deeply colored 
apricot Poodles are also extremely beautiful, but they are 
very rare as they do not breed true to color. Of all the dif- 
ferent colors, only the two-toned is frowned upon by 
breeders and cannot compete in AKC shows. 

Poodles also come in a variety of sizes. The extremely tiny 
Poodle, ten inches or less in height at the shoulder, is desig- 
nated a toy. Ten to fifteen inches at the shoulder describes a 
miniature; the standard is fifteen inches or more in height 
at the shoulder. 

.ft .V-. 

The most popular sizes are the toy and small miniature, 
probably because they are the most adaptable to a small 
home or apartment. The standard, contrary to common 
belief, makes an admirable guard dog and will be very pro- 
tective without being outright vicious, as many other 
guard dogs are. 

2 History of clipping 

When we look way back into the shadows of history we 
find the first people to clip Poodles, many centuries ago, were 
huntsmen. The Poodle was used as a hunting dog, and while 
he was very effective on land, his mobility when retrieving 
in the water was seriously impaired by his extremely dense 
and curly coat. So, these sportsmen shaved their dogs' coats 
in the rear hindquarters to allow for greater freedom of 
movement in the water. 

A little later, even more exaggerated clips were developed 
when circus clowns adopted the Poodle as a performer for its 
ability to learn absurd tricks quickly and for its amusing looks 
when clipped. 

The practice of clipping Poodles has developed through 
time until, in the present day, we have a whole industry of 
fashion salons not only for Poodles, but for all types of dogs, 
with manufacturers of special dog foods, dog toggery, patent 
medicines, and many other accessories for the well-kept 

Keeping a Poodle well-clipped enhances his beauty 
tremendously. This special grooming should be performed 
four to seven times a year, although once a month is ideal 
because the coat grows in rapidly. It can be a real drain on 
the pocket of the Foodie owner if the Poodle is sent to a 
professional beauty parlor for pets each time his dog requires 
clipping. This book is designed for the do-it-yourself 
Poodle owner who wants to keep his dog in top shape. 

There are an infinite number of styles in which the Poodle's 
coat can be fashioned. One of the reasons for the Poodle's 
fantastic popularity is the ability of the clipper to make him 
resemble many other breeds of dogs, including the Kerry 
Blue Terrier, the Bedlington Terrier, and the Fox Terrier. 

These hair styles are always interesting and often very 
amusing. In Chapter 10 you will find descriptions and illustra- 
tions of the various cuts and how they are done. Each 
description is accompanied by one or more diagrams for 
easy reference. 

3 The first clipping 

It is very important that you begin clipping your Poodle at 
an early age. At approximately three months is the best 
time to initiate the puppy to the grooming habit. 

When first introducing the Poodle to the clipping machine, 
it is a good idea to turn the machine on and hold it near his 

F ' 





head for a few minutes, so that he will become accustomed to 
the whirring sound. Then, very gently, lay it on the side of 
his head until he gets used to the vibrations. 

When you commence to clip the Poodle, handle him with 
firm authority. Do not let him get the idea that he is on 
playtime. This is a serious business, and he must be made to 
understand that. If he objects by crying or snapping, be firm 
in admonishing him and under no circumstances desist from 
your job. 

Remember : This first clipping is really a behavior lesson. 
If the dog is allowed to get away with disobedience this time, 
it will be extremely difficult to keep him under control the 
next time you attempt to clip him. 

The dog should be placed on a table or any other flat 
surface which is approximately waist high. Never clip him 
on the floor, and never on anything that is not solid and 
strong. The dog should never feel unsafe because of a poor 
grooming table. The table should have a matting of corrru- 
gated rubber or another material which will give your dog 
strong footing. If the Poodle becomes frightened because of a 
slippery or shaky table it will be nearly impossible to work 
with him. 

Good lighting and no distractions are both essential in 
grooming. The light should be even and as free from 
shadows as possible. Neon light is by far the best type for 
Poodle grooming. There should be no distractions in the 
room, such as other animals or persons with whom the dog 
is unfamiliar. Please, no pussy cats near the grooming table ! 


4 Your tools 

Your grooming tools must be accessible at all times, and in 
good condition. Poor equipment will not only spoil your 
work but may cause the dog injury as well. Dull clipper 
blades or scissors will often leave burns or nick the dog. 

Ordinary barber's clippers will sometimes do, although 
there are several small animal clippers on the market which 
work better. The clippers for use on human hair are not really 
powerful enough to do the best job on animals. The most 
popular animal clipper sold has a changeable head. Each of 
the several different heads for this machine has a number on 
it, indicating the type of blade it holds. 

The fact that the heads are interchangeable is a great 
convenience, since the blades which heat up very quickly 
should not be used when they are hot. A blade which is too 
warm will cause a clipper burn, highly irritating to the 
animal. If you have an extra head of the same number, you 
can simply remove the hot one, replace it with the cool one 
and continue to work. Otherwise, you will have to "take 
five" until the blade cools down. 

The different blades are #15, which is very fine-toothed 
and is most generally used when shaving close on the face, 
feet, tail, and when making patterns. The #10 blade does not 
cut as close as the #15, but if used against the lay of the hair, 


A.— Nail clipper. 
B. — Wire brush. 
C— Clipper. 
D.— Scissor. 

E. — Comb. 

F.— Rake. 

G. — Cage blower. 


the effect is similar to that of the #15. It can be used in an 
emergency if the #15 dulls or is lost. The #7 blade leaves 
approximately one-quarter inch of hair and is used for simple 
trims and in cold weather when you wish to leave the dog's 
coat a little longer than in the summer months. The #5 is 
even coarser than the #7 and leaves about one-half inch of 

The blades should be oiled after several clips and a few 
drops of oil put in the machine itself at the appropriate 
places. There is now a product on the market which cleans, 
disinfects, and lubricates the blades at the same time. 

The cost of this type of equipment depends entirely on the 
groomer. You can spend from $15 to $50 for a clipper and 
blades. There are companies that sell a complete home kit for 
dog barbering at a low price. This type of kit is sometimes 
satisfactory for the do-it-yourselfer, but the professional 
equipment does a far superior job. 

One or more barber's shears approximately seven or eight 
inches in length are a necessity. These dull quickly, and if 
they are dropped they will be ineffective. 

Ear cleaning 

Flap-eared dogs like the Poodle may have trouble with car 
infections due to the accumulation of matter and dead hair. 
Heavy duty long-handled, round-ended tweezers available 
in most dog stores should be used to pluck out the hairs inside 
the ears. Do not be hasty as you are working in a very 
sensitive area. Grasp the hair firmly and with a quick, 
twisting motion. 

The ears should then be swabbed out with Q tips dipped 
in alcohol or peroxide. Clean carefully, but do not probe 
deeper than you can see. Should the ears seem painful or foul- 
smelling consult your veterinarian. There are a number of 


A.— Nail clipping. 

B.— Pulling the hair from the ears. 


dog-ear cleaners and remedies available at your pet shop for 
troublesome ears. 

Nail cutting 

Using a nail cutter can be a tricky business for the novice. 
The quick, which is the spongy part of the nail, will bleed if 
cut into. Should this occur, use a styptic pencil or a silver- 
nitrate swab to stop the bleeding. 

There is a special type of nail cutter on the market which 
operates like a guillotine. Fit the tip of the nail into the circle 
(See illustration). A quick movement of the blade decapitates 
the nail ; but first, push down lightly and if the nail has a 
spongy feel, don't press any further forward. 

The quick shows as a dark area in light-colored nails. 
Overgrown nails usually develop a hook which should be 
removed. If there is no hook, then chances are the dog 
doesn't need a manicure. 

5 Basic technique 

There are many hair styles you can give your Poodle but the 
basic clipping technique is the same in all cases. Hold the 
flat of the blade against the surface that is being clipped. Do 
not tip the blade forward as it will dig into the skin and cause 
unsightly cross marks. Hold the clipper like a drawing pencil 
and try to visualize your Poodle as a living canvas. It is 
advisable to grip the body of the machine in a firm manner, 
with your wrist flexible. 


Clip with the grain of the hair. Do not attempt to clip 
against the lay of the coat until you have become an adept 
groomer. Cutting against the lay of the hair creates a shaved 
look and is only used for exhibition or show cuts. Shaving 
closely, particularly on the more sensitive areas around the 
mouth, throat, paws, and under the tail, may cause clipper 
burns which give the poor animal a great deal of discomfort. 

When clipping a pattern on the Poodle, bear in mind that 
the clipper is in motion and constantly cutting, so when you 
arrive at the area where you are creating the pattern you 
should stop and lift the machine up and away from the 
animal, and then commence at another point of the design. 
Watch your movements very carefully in the areas that you 
wish to cut short, making sure that you don't accidentally 
cut into the raised pattern. 

You should always be in command of the machine as the 
Poodle will act restless at times and may jump unexpectedly, 
causing you to drop the clipper or cut off hair which you 
don't mean to trim. Always be alert to the dog's movements, 
especially when working around the head area. 

A good idea for the novice groomer is to clip the paws 
first. Hold the dog firmly around the body with your arm, 
and with your hand hold the paw to be clipped. Spread out 
the toes with your fingers and use the clippers up one side of 
each toe at a time until you reach the webbing (the connecting 
tissue between the toes). The paws should generally be 
clipped no further than the dew claw, which is an extra 
nail, often removed at birth. If it has not been removed, be 
careful that you do not cut into it. 

You must be exceedingly firm in clipping the paws as most 
Poodles object to this stage of the operation and will pull their 
feet away. Under no circumstances allow your dog to succeed 
in bulldozing you into giving up the job with the idea that 
you will come back to it later. If the Poodle discovers that he 





1 1. 









Dew claw. 






Last rib. 










Breast bone 






Dew claw. 






Ear leather. 

21. Throat. 

22. Lip. 

23. Nose. 

24. Muzzle. 

25. Cheeks. 

26. Stop. 

27. Skull. 

28. Occiput. 

can intimidate you, it will be difficult to complete the job. 

All the hair should be trimmed from the paws so that they 
are clean, including the hair on the insides of the pads and 
bottom of the paws where street dirt accumulates. The best 
blade to use for this is a #15. 


If the coat on your Poodle's body is densely matted, do 
not try to force the clippers through it. This will dull the 
blade and you may cut your dog's skin. When you begin 
to clip, allow the machine to work its own way through the 
coat a tiny bit at a time. This is a laborious process requiring 
great patience, but the clipping has to be done in this manner 
and you will find that it pays off in a professional-looking 

The head of the Poodle should be handled very carefully. 
When clipping this area, hold the head with great firmness, 
making sure that the dog is steady and relaxed. Take the head 
in one hand and use the clipper steadily and evenly with the 
other. Do not zig-zag or use jerky motions. If you do not 
have an even movement with the clipper it will leave 
unsightly clipper marks and tufts of hair. 

Shave the cheek, muzzle, and throat area creating the 
pattern you desire. When clipping the lip area, carefully pull 
back the corners of the mouth, which will cause the hairs to 
bristle away from the skin. This will make it easier to trim 
the muzzle without injuring the dog. Remember that the 
mouth area is extremely sensitive and delicate. Be careful 
that the creases and folds of the lip do not catch in the teeth 
of the blade. 

If the whiskers are to be left on your Poodle, a practical 
idea is to cover the area where you wish to leave whiskers 
with your hand, so that if the Poodle does make any unex- 
pected movements you will not accidentally cut into the 

In many hair styles the ears are shaved down completely 
or left with tassels. When clipping the ear, hold it out flat 
on the palm of your hand and use the clipper with an outward 
motion. Do not clip toward the head of the dog or on the 
edges of the ear leather. If your Poodle is nervous regarding 
his ears, I suggest that you have someone help you hold him, 


or else leave the ears full. The ears are the real trouble spots 
even with the most experienced of clippers. 

The pompon is another difficult area to clip properly. It is 
a good idea to hold the head of your dog with your hand over 
his eyes. Do not shave closely above the eye level or the ear 
level, or you will not be able to give a full pompon effect. 

Now the Poodle is rough-clipped to whatever pattern 
you have decided on. Next, you thoroughly brush and comb 
his coat prior to the bath. This brushing and combing is very 
important because when the dog is bathed he must be abso- 
lutely free of mats. If there are mats the dog will not get clean 
and the soap will not rinse out thoroughly. 

6 The bath 

Bathing your Poodle can be a pleasant experience as the 
Poodle, a water dog by instinct, usually enjoys his bath and 
will not fight to get out of the tub. Be careful, however, to 
protect his eyes and ears from water and soap. 

Plug his ears with cotton to protect them from the water, 
as that will cause him discomfort and perhaps infection. 
Moreover, he'll shake furiously if the water finds its way into 
his ears, and will give you a bath as well. A little mineral oil 
around the eyes will protect them from the soap. 


Start the bath by wetting the dog down completely with 
warm water. It is handy to use a spray which attaches to the 
water faucet, rather than immersing the dog. A spray will 
also get the Poodle much cleaner, since you are rinsing the 
dirt out while you are washing. 

Use a good brand of shampoo. There are several on the 
market expressly for animal use. Many of these have disin- 
fectants in their formulas for parasites like lice, fleas, or 
ticks; parasites which dogs acquire particularly during the 
hot summer months. A very mild shampoo, preferably 
castille baby shampoo, should be used around the eyes and 
on the muzzle. (Do this area last.) 

Once you have shampood the dog thoroughly, rinse him 
and repeat the entire process. If the Poodle doesn't seem clean 
after the second shampooing, repeat the process again. It is 
extremely important that the Poodle be scrupulously clean 
and well brushed before the final scissoring. 

Rinse the dog until you are absolutely sure that all the soap 
is out of the coat. It should squeak when you stroke it with 
your hand. 

Before the Poodle leaves the tub, there is another matter 
which you should attend to. There is a gland under the base 
of every dog's tail that accumulates a pus-like matter. If 
unattended to, this may cause a rectal infection. During the 
bathing process use your thumb and forefinger to feel the 
gland on cither side of the anal opening. Squeeze gently and 
this matter will express out. For sanitary purposes you should 
use tissue or cotton when you perform this operation. With 
a little practice it is done very easily. 

To dry your Poodle, rub him briskly with a heavy-duty 
terry cloth towel, and then complete the drying with an 
electric hair dryer while you brush the dog. If you have the 
use of a hair dryer on a stand you will find this the most 
convenient, because your hands are left free to do a better 


job of brushing. The dryer should blow in the direction you 
are brushing. This not only hastens the drying process but also 
makes the hair stand away from the body, ready for the 

Both when bathing and drying your poodle, make sure 
that there are no drafts in the room. The dog can easily catch 
a cold or pneumonia if you are careless in this way. 

Brushing may seem simple enough, but it is not as easy 
as it looks. Your pulling effort will be considerably reduced 
if you use one hand to hold the hair you are brushing away 
from the rest of the coat. But get right down to the base of 
the hair near the skin and then pull away from the body. Use 
a twisting motion with your wrist, as if you were pulling 
feathers from a chicken. Don't just scrape the top of the coat 
with the brush and expect that you will have good results. 

After brushing, your comb should have little difficulty in 
going through the brushed coat. You may occasionally find 
tangles or mats which you will now comb out. Then you are 
ready to commence with the artistic part of the grooming — 
the scissoring. 

7 Scissoring 

Scissoring is the most complicated part of Poodle grooming. 
It is a good idea to practice with your scissors on an area which 
you intend to shave down, until you get the feel of them. 


A.— Detail of holding dog while scissoring pompon. 
B. — Preferred way to hold scissor. 
C— Recommended way to hold clipper. 


Hold them with your thumb inside the top shear handle 
not quite up as far as the first knuckle joint. Your index 
finger should grip the bottom rounded section on the 
outside and your middle finger should be placed inside this 
bottom scissor grip. A feathery touch should be cultivated; 
don't hold the scissors too tightly. 

Now, carefully decide upon the desired length of hair and 
cut a layer. Work around the dog, moving in the direction 
of the lay of the coat. Go very slowly. It may take you 
several sessions to build up confidence and dexterity. Do not 
try to finish one area at a time, but keep working around the 
dog so that you can get a good perspective as to the evenness 
of the cut. 

Never cut crosswise or kitty-corner. Snip slowly and in 
small amounts. Chopping will inevitably put holes in the 
pattern. Use your comb as you snip to free the loose hairs. 
Snip and comb, snip and comb — this is a good rule of 
thumb for the beginner to follow. If the scissors are proper- 
ly sharp you should have to put little pressure on them. 
Let the cutting edges do the job. 

When scissoring the pompon on the Poodle's head, hold 
your hand in front of the dog's eyes and scissor straight up. 
Then tip the scissors and snip lightly to round the pompon at 
the top for a ball-like effect. Here you may find curved 
scissors very helpful. 

For tassels, the edges of the ears have to be trimmed very 
neatly. Do not press heavily on the scissors when working 
on the ears. Again, let the scissors themselves do the work. If 
you should feel any unusual resistance you undoubtedly have 
the ear leather in range of the shears. This part of the groom- 
ing may seem difficult at first, but with practice and a good 
deal of patience you will be able to achieve a nice effect. 


A.— Standard show clip. 
B.— Dutch Boy. 
C— Swiss clip. 

D. — Cowboy clip or exaggerated clip (mid- Victorian). 
E. — Monkey clip. 

F.— Dutch Boy showing the width of the stripe. 
G.— English Saddle. 


The pompon on the tail should be combed out and gripped 
in the hand, then cut straight across the top. Trim the sides 
with a rounding motion of the scissors. You have to judge 
the degree of trimming on the tail according to the texture 
and fullness of the dog's hair, since many dogs rub or chew 
their hair at the tail, making it difficult to create a full 

You will find that some groomers, instead of scissoring, 
use a clipper with a coarse-toothed blade for the finishing 
touches. The hair is first combed out thoroughly and then 
the blade is very lightly run down the hair. This is a tricky 
operation, as deep gashes can easily occur if the dog moves 
suddenly or if you are not extremely skilled and practiced 
at this. 

It is not a good practice in any event, since the hair will not 
grow back evenly and the clip looks good no more than two 
days. It is a rapid way of grooming but a poor one. Coarse 
blades have better uses. If the Poodle is heavily matted they 
can be used to shave the dog all over, leaving half an inch 
of hair. During cold months, this is decidedly practical. 

The Poodle is a fine-tempered dog at best and it is rare to 
find one with a nasty disposition. He may be a spoiled 
mother's darling, but not vicious. He will usually stand very 
patiently while you labor over him. If you find that this is not 
the case, however, don't hesitate to ask someone to assist. 


8 "Do's and don'ts" 

Now that we have discussed the basic method of Poodle 
clipping and the tools which are necessary, it might be 
advisable to mention again some of the basic rules. 

Never use a shaky, rickety grooming table. Always fasten 
a slip-proof cover on your table. 

Do not be impatient with the Poodle or nervous. The dog 
will sense this and himself become nervous. Never be lax, and 
never be brutal. 

The clipping machine will get overheated after continued 
use. Put the machine down at this point and let it cool off. If 
you have a spare clipper or spare blades, you can continue 
your work ; if not, then pat the Poodle, give him a few 
encouraging words, have yourself a cup of coffee, then back 
to the work. 

Never use dull blades or scissors at any time. They will not 
only cut the dog or give clipper burns but will spoil the job 
by leaving jagged edges. 

Don't use the clipper in a choppy manner and do not try to 
finish one area at a time. Work all around the dog to achieve 
an even and neat appearance. 

Do not force the clippers through the hair but allow them 
to glide easily. The blades should do the work. 

Make a practice of not shaving the private parts, face, 
throat, ears, and under the tail too closely, as these are the 
most sensitive areas. 


Don't be careless when bathing, getting soap in the eyes or 
water in the ears. 

Pay careful attention when scissoring around the eyes and 
always keep your scissors pointed away from the eyes. 

If you can find someone to assist you with the grooming 
it will be that much easier. 

On the "do" side, one of the most important things to 
remember is to prepare to spend a good deal of time on the 
grooming. Have adequate lighting, preferably neon. Have 
all of your tools and the bathing and drying facilities close at 

Take your time when scissoring, constantly checking for 
loose or ragged hairs. Also check the Poodle for bumps, 
bruises, or scars. 

Be careful when bathing and drying the dog that there are 
no drafts in the room. 

It is a good policy to keep your Poodle groomed regularly. 
You will improve with the practice and he will become 
accustomed to it. 

9 Accessories 

Before proceeding with descriptions of specific cuts, the 
reader should know of the current trend to dress the Poodle 
in finery after his beauty treatment. 

The Poodle's popularity has created a demand for high 
fashion dog toggery, including not only such traditional 
items as sweaters and jeweled collars, but also fancy raincoats, 


suits, and furs, all in the latest styles. Rubber boots, little hats, 
and even wigs are now available for Poodle fanciers. 

There are dog beds sold in pet shops, dog salons, and 
department stores which will grace any home. Quaint lastex 
toys, chew sticks made of rawhide and other materials, tug- 
of-war toys, perfumes, personalized dishes, and identifica- 
tion plates are a few of the myriad articles designed to please 
the dog population and its owners. 

You can spend anywhere from fifty cents for a dog toy to 
two hundred dollars or more for a mink coat, and all for your 

Spending this kind of money on dogs many people 
find foolish. Others, who realize the love and devotion 
which the Poodle always has for his master, coupled with his 
quick intelligence and understanding of the human race, 
feel that any investment is worthwhile for this great a return. 

And one of the side effects of the popularity of Poodles has 
been the better care of other breeds, certainly a worthwhile 
development. Today, one thinks nothing of seeing a husky 
boxer with an expensive jeweled collar, fancy trench coat, 
and rubber boots. 

The often neglected crossbreed is also benefiting from 
this boom in dog toggery, and is often better cared for than 
he ever was before. 


Details on English Saddle and Continental clip: — 
A.— Knuckle joint. F.— Stern. 

B.— Dew claw. G.— Hock. 

C— Rump. H.— Hipbones. 

D.— Loin. I.— Base of tail. 

E. — Stifle. 


A. — Detail of muzzle clip. 
B.— Detail of clipping the face. 

C— Clipping the throat. 


10 Styles of clipping 

The following descriptions and diagrams indicate all of the 
popular and some of the lesser-known styles of Poodle cuts. 
They will help you select the styles which strike your fancy 
and enhance your dog's personality. 

Of course, any one of these styles has many variations 
which only your personal choice should govern. The creative 
Poodle owner should never feel restricted. But it goes 
without saying that it is most practical for the novice clipper 
to start with the simpler cuts until he has acquired confidence 
and dexterity. 

There are only three clips admitted to American Kennel Club 
official dog shows. One of these is the Puppy clip, which is 
only allowed on a dog less than one year of age. It is a simple 
clip with only the face, feet, and tail shaved. The rest of the 
Poodle is combed out and simply scissored. 

Puppy clip 

The muzzle is shaved with a #15 blade from below the 
eyes, around the cheeks, and down the throat to the pith. The 
paws are shaved with a #15 blade up to the dew claw area. 
They should be shaved clean, including inside the pads. 

The coat should be brushed with a long bristle brush in an 
outward direction so that it stands away from the body. 



Puppy clip. 

About one third of the tail at the base should be trimmed with 
a # 15, with the rest of the hair combed out and scissored into 
a ball. The hair over the eyes should be pulled away from the 
muzzle and tied with a ribbon, elastic, or barette, into a 

Scissor the body to make the coat look like a clipped 
hedge; but very few of the long guard hairs should be 
scissored off Pay particular attention to the ears as they 
should be left very long; a practical idea when feeding the 
puppy or letting it play is to put a cap around its head to keep 
this long hair from breaking off A silk stocking with the toe 
cut off makes a good cap. 



English Saddle clip 

The English Saddle is the second of the three clips which is 
permitted in AKC shows. 

Clip the muzzle clean, cutting horizontally below the eyes 
to the base of the ears, then down the throat to the pith of the 
neck. Use a #15 blade unless your Poodle has very sensitive 
skin, in which case use a #10. Hold his mouth firmly so that 
the tongue cannot protrude and get cut. 

Clip the paws with a #15 blade. Do not shave higher than 
the dew claw area. 

From the dew claw area to the first knuckle joint on the 
front legs leave the hair full. It is to be trimmed in a pompon. 
Shave above this area to the beginning of the elbow. 



Detail English Saddle clip. 

Scissor these bracelet pompons on the front legs to about 
2 to 3 inches in length. Create a ball-like effect by combing 
the hair downward and cutting straight along the bottom 
edge, then combing upward and scissoring lightly a rounded 
edge on top. 

With the #15 blade clip a band about \\ inches in width 
around each rear leg just above the hock joint. Shape the 
bracelet pompon below this band just as you did on the front 
legs. You will create another pompon above the band later. 
Leave the hair around the hock joint a little heavier than the 
hair on the front pompons. 

Clip the base of the tail with a #15 blade on top and a % 10 
underneath. If the tail is unusually long expose less of 
the tail to make a larger pompon. If the tail is very short, 
shave almost to its end but leave the pompon hair longer than 


All of the hair forward from the last rib is left on for a lion- 
like appearance. The rest, from the last rib back, is scissored 
down evenly, and a full amount of hair is left from the stern 
to the first stifle joint on the back legs. This fullness on the 
hindquarters is called the "pack". Between the mane and the 
pack make a long, crescent-shaped indentation on each side. 
You can use soft chalk to draw the outline. Shave this area 
close with a#ioor#i5 blade. 

Make an indentation about i\ to 2 inches below the pack 
on the stifle joint. Shave this area with a #1 5 blade. When you 
trim the pompon which is left, cut the bottom and top edges 
straight across. Fluff out the hair on the pompon and scissor 
it into a ball. 

Trim the edge of the mane at the saddle with your scissors. 
Comb the hair downward and cut along the edge. Then 
comb upward and cut along the edge, making a definitive 
line. Fluff out the rest of the hair on the mane and scissor to the 
desired length. 

Remove shaggy hairs from the inside of the legs with a 
#7 blade or with your scissors. Clean the stomach as well as 
the private parts with a #10 blade. 

Grip the hair above the eyes and attach a barrette (the clip- 
on type) or a rubber band for a topknot effect. Your dog is 
now ready to step into the show ring. 

Continental clip 

This is the third cut acceptable in the show ring and is a 
variation of the more formal English Saddle clip. The same 
procedure is followed as with the English Saddle clip except 
for the hindquarters. 

The rear from the last rib (the back edge of the mane) is 
shaved all the way down to the hock joints with a #15 blade. 





Continental clip. 

At the hock joint on each rear leg you are to have one large 
pompon. Leave a great deal of hair on these pompons as they 
are the focal points of the Continental clip. The pompons are 
fluffed out, trimmed straight across on the top and on the 
bottom edges, and then trimmed in a ball or a square design. 
(Whether round or square is a matter of personal choice and 
will not affect your Poodle's candidacy in the AKC ring. The 
pompons on all four feet must be the same however — do not 
leave some square and some round.) 

You may, if you wish, put rosettes on either side of the 
rump. The rosettes should be approximately over each hip 
bone, which you can find with your hand. Make the rosettes 



Shawl clip. 

from 2j to 3 inches in diameter. They should be separated 
on top by the width of the clipper blade. Comb the rosettes 
from the center outward and scissor them evenly at the edges, 
giving the design sharp definition. Fluff the tops of the 
rosettes and round them with the scissors for a ball-like 

Shawl clip 

Neither this nor any of the following clips are recognized by 
the AKC for the show ring. Consequently, the variations on 


them are infinite, and largely governed by personal choice 
and imagination. 

The Shawl clip is very similar to the English Saddle clip, 
except that the saddle-shaped indentations are not used. The 
heavy hair of the mane extends down the front leg to the dew 
claw, and the back (which is trimmed for a heavy, hedge-like 
appearance) extends down the back leg to the dew claw. 
Trim the hair on the front legs straight down for a very trim 

This is a good preliminary clip if you intend to exhibit your 
dog in the future. 

Baby doll clip 

This clip (sometimes called the Bolero) is also a take-off on 
the English Saddle. 

Shave the muzzle (whiskers are optional) and the throat to 
the pith of the neck with a #15 blade. Clip the sides and back 
of the neck so that the mane drapes around the throat like 
a necklace. 

Scissor the pompon on the head a little closer than in the 
previous clips and round it. 

With the #15, clip one width of the blade down the ridge 
of the back. You want to give your Poodle large leg of 
mutton looking shoulder pads and a large bouffant on the 

The front leg below the elbow is shaved to the first 
knuckle, leaving a full pompon below this. The paws are 
shaved clean with the #15 blade. Round the pompons with 
your scissors. 


Baby Doll. 

With a #15 blade shave up a little further on the hindlegs 
than in the English Saddle clip, since the Baby Doll is meant 
to be an exaggeration. Then shave down to the hock joint 
on each hindleg to leave a large rounded pompon reaching 
to the dew claw. Scissor the pompons round. 

Shave the ears with a #10 blade, leaving very large tassels 
on the ends of them. Round the bottoms of these tassels. 

Shave the belly with a #15 blade, then shave a narrow band 
around the center of the body to separate the legs of mutton 
and the bouffants. 


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Clown clip. 

Clown clip 

This clip is easy to care for and ideal in the hot summer 
months or in perennially warm climates where the Poodle's 
heavy coat might cause him discomfort. 

The muzzle is shaved or whiskers are left, as you prefer. 

A large pompon is left on the head, terminating in a 
decided point on the back of the neck between the ears. 
Blend the pompon into the hair on the back of the neck after 
the body is shaved. 

The ears are usually left full but evened off at the bottom. 
If you wish, they can be shaved down with or without 


Retriever clip. 


The entire body is shaved with a #5 or #7 blade, except 
that large pompons are left on the feet and on the tail as in the 
Continental clip. If you wish to keep the coat very short 
then shave the body with a #1 5 blade and make the pompons 
a little smaller. 

Retriever clip 

This clip is also known as the Sporting clip, Working clip, 
Utility clip, Field clip, and Business Man's clip. It is very 
easy to maintain, since you need trim it only four or five times 
a year. 


Shave the muzzle and the neck with a #15 blade. 

Leave the ears full. 

The pompon should be full and round with a point at the 
rear of the head blending into the hair on the back of the 
neck, as in the Clown clip. 

Shave the paws with a #15 blade to the dew claws. 

With a #7 blade (#10 if you wish it closer) shave the body 
to the top of the shoulders at the front and to the loins at the 
rear. Shave over the top of the rump. The shoulders in front 
should each be like the point of an arrow when the dog is 
viewed from the side, with the heavier hair expanding away 
from the shoulder toward the pith of the neck and toward 
the belly. 

Use your scissors to blend the hair on the shoulders and 
rump into the fullness of the legs. Trim the hair on the legs 
to about 3 ins. 

Town and Country clip 

Sometimes called the Master, this is similar to the Retriever, 
but a little more exaggerated. 

Most dogs in this clip have the whiskers left on and a full 
pompon on the head which terminates in a point at the back 
of the neck. 

This clip should look very crisp. Shave the body with a 
#10 blade to the elbows on the front legs and a little lower 
on the rump in the back than in the Retriever. 

The paws are clipped with a #15 blade a little higher than 
the dew claws. 

The puffs on the legs should be full. Do not blend them at 
the edges into the body hair but leave a very definite line of 

Leave a pompon on the tail, and leave the ears full. 


Town and Country. 

Royal Dutch clip 

The Royal Dutch, or Dutch Boy, is the most popular Poodle 
clip in America. 

The muzzle is shaved with a #15 blade but full whiskers 
are left. These should begin at the back corners of the mouth. 
Square them off by combing them forward then scissoring 
straight along the bottom edges and straight up and down at 
the front of the mouth. 

The ears usually have ball-like tassels. Full ears are also very 
attractive with this clip. 

Leave full pompons on the head and tail. 



Royal Dutch. 

The neck and throat are shaved with a #15 blade. 

With the #15 blade shave a strip the width of the clipper 
all the way along the ridge of the back to the base of the tail. 
Use smooth, steady strokes to make a very clean line. Don't 
jerk the clippers. 

Between the last rib and the point where the loin joins the 
hindleg shave a band around the stomach with a #15 blade. 
You want to make the shoulders and rear legs look very full, 
and the Poodle look short, so don't make this band too wide. 

Shave the paws to the dew claws with the #15 blade. 

Fully comb out the hair on the legs and then scissor this hair 
evenly for a hedge-like look. 



Dutch Band clip. 

Dutch Band clip 

This clip is very similar to the Dutch boy but has a squarer 

Shave the muzzle with a #15 or #10 blade. The face hair 
beneath the eyes should be fuller than in the Dutch boy. The 
whiskers should be full, also. 

Allow for tassels on the ears but square them off instead of 
making them ball shaped as in the Dutch boy. 

Shave the neck and throat to the pith and leave a very 
definite rounded edge on the ruff, like a necklace. 

Leave the ruff full to the last rib. 

Both front and rear legs are left full and the paws are not 
shaved but scissored square. 


Kerry Blue Terrier clip. 

The band around the stomach is shaved with a #15 blade. 
This clip should be very crisp, so make sure that all the lines 
are sharp and definite. 

The pompons on the tail and head should look square. This 
is achieved by combing the pompons up and scissoring them 
flat on top. Then scissor them straight up and down on the 

Kerry Blue Terrier style clip 

This clip is primarily for those who like the appearance of the 
Terrier breeds. It is an easy style to master and maintain. 


Shave the skull with a #15 blade from the occiput to the 
eyes. Leave the front end of the muzzle very full for a heavy 
eyebrow and moustache effect. 

The throat (in "V-neck" form) and the ears are shaved 
with a #15 blade. No tassels are left on the ears. 

The back of the neck below the occiput and the rest of the 
body are clipped with a #5 blade, leaving about one and a 
half inches of hair all over. 

Use your scissors to blend the hair on the legs and rump 
area so that there is no distinct "Poodle" shape. 

The paws are not clipped but rounded with the scissors for a 
club-like appearance. 

The tail is clipped clean with a #10 blade. There should be 
no pompon. 

The eyebrows are combed forward and scissored on an 
upward slant to give the face a quizzical expression. The 
whiskers are combed forward and trimmed neatly on the 

Bedlington Terrier style clip 

The appearance of the Bedlington Terrier can also be 
adopted by the Poodle. 

The head should have a sheep-like look. This is the most 
important feature and the most difficult to capture. Pretend 
that you're cutting a head pompon, only this time you want 
the pompon to extend from the tip of the muzzle all the way 
over the top of the head and down the back of the neck 
almost to the withers. Comb the hair outward from the top 
of the head and muzzle. Take your scissors and with a long 
sweeping motion snip off the hair, rounding the "pompon" 
as you go along. Keep it longer on the top and shorter on the 
sides than a normal pompon. There should be a gentle arch 


Bedlington clip. 

from the top of the head which finally blends into the hair on 
the back of the neck about halfway between the occiput and 
the withers. 

The cheeks, throat, and under the chin should be shaved 
with a #15 blade. 

The ears are also shaved with a #15 blade, leaving small 
rounded tassels on their ends. 

You will get the best effect if you scissor the body fairly 
close, but you can use a #5 blade instead. Leave the ridge of 
the back a little fuller than the rest of the body, so that there 
is a definite arch toward the tail. 

Accentuate the arch in the loins with your scissors. Make 
sure that this arch is directly below that on the back. 


Water Spaniel clip. 

Do not shave the paws. Trim them with the scissors for a 
rounded appearance. 

The tail is shaved with a #15 blade. Make no pompon, but 
leave the base of the tail a little thicker than usual so that the 
tail narrows quickly to a point. 

Water Spaniel style clip 

This is a utility type of clip, and is especially good in the event 
that you should err on the head pompon. 


The muzzle is shaved with a %\ 5 blade all the way over the 
eyes and back to the ears. A small tuft of hair is left on the 
skull, which blends into the full ears. This tuft can be trimmed 
round or square. 

The body is shaved with a #5 or #7 blade. Blend all the 
joints so that there is no exceptional definition. 

Don't shave the paws, but round them with the scissors. 

The hair on the tail is cut the same length as the body hair, 
with no pompon. 

Monkey clip 

This is an absurd clip, meant only to shock your friends and 
please your enemies. 

The muzzle is shaved and a very small tuft of hair is left on 
the mouth to give a short mustache effect. The area around 
the eyes is also shaved, as in the Water Spaniel style clip, and 
a tuft of hair is left on the head. 

The ears are shaved and left with long, untrimmed tassels. 

Shave the neck with a #15 blade to leave a necklace of 
undipped hair. 

The front legs are shaved with a % 1 5 blade under the elbow 
to the first knuckle. The pompon below this is left un- 

Clip the front feet up to the base of the first knuckle joint 
and the rear feet up past the hock joint. 

At about the middle rib clip a thin band all the way around 
the body, so that a thin girdle (extending back to about the 
last rib) is left around the body. Shave the rest of the body 
and the rump part way down the rear legs with the #15 
blade. Clip a band around the base of the tail with a #15 

All the long hair should be left long and should look un- 


Monkey clip. 

kempt, including the tassel on the tail. You can feather the 
ends of this tassel lightly. 

Cowboy clip 

This amusing clip is very popular in the western United 

The muzzle is shaved only under the eyes. Use the #15 
blade to form a crescent there on each side, and extending 
over the bridge of the nose. Leave a wide band of hair on 
each cheek connecting the pompon and the full, squared 
whiskers. The pompon is round and high. 


^ m 

Cowboy clip. 

Shave the ears clean. 

All four paws are shaved with the #15 blade to the dew 
claws or slightly above. 

You want to create a full chap-like effect on the legs. On 
the front the fullness should begin at the shoulder blades and 
slant forward onto the legs. The fullness on the rear legs 
should begin high on the rump. 

Shave the throat and neck with a #1 5 blade. Shave the band 
around the body with a #15 blade, as well as the ridge of the 
back, as in the Dutch Boy. 

Leave a pompon on the tail. 

Corded clip 

This clip was once accepted in the show ring but is seldom, if 


Corded clip. 

ever, seen in the present day. It is an impractical cut and quite 
unsanitary, since the hair must be oiled so that the hair will 
curl and grow in rope-like clumps. 

The muzzle and cheeks are shaved very close with a #15 

The paws are shaved clean with a #15 blade up to the dew 

The ears are left full, as are the front legs. The hair on the 
front of the body is also left full and should extend back as far 
as the last rib, for a lion-like appearance. All of this hair is 
oiled, and should never be combed out once the oiling is 

The rump and rear legs should be shaved down to the hock 
joints, as in the Continental clip. Shave the rear similar to the 


Continental, with rosettes optional on either side of the 
rump. If you wish to have rosettes, they should be scissored 
a little shorter than the chest hair, and then oiled. With 
rosettes, you should leave double pompons on the back legs, 
as in the English Saddle clip. 

The pompon on the tail is oiled and left to grow in cords, 
but the base of the tail is shaved with a # 1 5 blade. 

The pompon on the head is left unruly with the cords of 
hair falling in the eyes. 

Swiss clip 

This is the most popular clip in Germany, Switzerland, and 

The muzzle gets the most important treatment. The cheeks 
are shaved with a $15 blade from the base of the eyes back. 
The whiskers are left very full from the outer corner of the 
eye forward to the tip of the muzzle. Comb them forward 
and square them off with the scissors. All of the hair is left on 
the top of the muzzle to the eyes, where it blends into the 
pompon on the head. The muzzle hair should almost cover 
the eyes, and the face should look very boxy. 

The ears are shaved very clean with a #1 5 blade, leaving no 

The body is shaved with a #10 blade to produce a curlicue 
look. Shave the entire body except for the front and rear legs, 
where the hair is left full. Shave to just above the elbow on 
the front legs and curve around the rear leg muscles on the 

The base of the tail and the portion of the rump close to it 
are shaved with a #15 blade to give more prominence to the 
rear, full leg look. 

The pompon on the tail is left very full in a large ball. 


Swiss clip. 

Do not shave the paws. Trim the hair on the legs round, 
and top the fuzzy hair for a stuffed dog look. 

Sailor Boy Bell-bottom clip 

This is an amusing clip with a bell-bottomed trousers 

With a #15 blade, shave a thin line on the top of the muzzle 
from the eyes to the end of the nose. Shave the cheeks, leaving 
full whiskers starting beneath the eyes as in the Swiss clip. 

Trim the pompon on the head square. Do not leave a point 
on the back of the neck. 


Sailor Boy Bell-bottom. 

Trim the ears clean with a #15 blade. 

Shave the body with a #15 blade. Leave full shoulder pads 
to the base of the shoulder blades. These pads should not 
reach over the shoulder blades as they did in the Dutch Boy. 
They should extend full to the middle rib on each side. Shave 
to the loin on the rump, separating the fullness by a clipper 
width just forward of the tail along the backbone. 

Shave the paws with a #15 blade up to the dew claws. 

Leave the hair on all four legs almost full, but tapering out 
just above the pastern on the front legs and a little above the 
hock on the rear legs for the bell-bottomed effect. 

Scissor the long hairs lightly for a casual look. 

The pompon on the tail is square. 


Hillbilly clip. 

Hillbilly clip 

This is also very amusing and relatively easy to maintain. 

The muzzle and head are done as in the Swiss clip but the 
pompon on the head is rounded and not too full. The pompon 
should blend into the whiskers below the eyes. Shave the 
cheeks with a #15 blade. The face should look boxy. 

Shave the ears clean with the #15 blade. 

The neck to the shoulders and pith is shaved with a #15 

The ruff is left fairly full and goes over the shoulders and 
around the body. Scissor it lightly to create a rounded effect. 

The front legs are shaved from the elbows down with a % 1 5 
blade. The rear legs are left full on the stern to the stifle joint. 


Shave below this with a #15 blade. Round the fullness on the 
top part of the legs by scissoring lightly. 

The band around the dog's body from the last rib to the 
point where the loin joins the leg is shaved with a #15 blade. 
Also, shave one clipper width between the puffs on the hind 
legs along the backbone. 

The tail is clipped clean with a %\$ blade. 



Silver Toy. The puppy clip is accepted by the American Kennel Club. 


Learning to "Pose" for a show. 

















1 1 





















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